Budgeting 101

We had three wonderful speakers at our meeting on Monday.  Karalea talked to us about how to start using a Budget, Margot reviewed the envelope system, and Kimberly talked to us about how to start using Coupons.

Setting up a Budget

by Karalea via Dave Ramsey

It is important to have a written plan.  Here are 4 simple steps when setting up your budget.

  1. Write down your total income (take home pay) for the month.  This includes paychecks from work, babysitting money, birthday money, ALL income you plan to receive for the month.
  2. List all of your expenses.  This includes your giving/tithing.  Think of all the little things you buy every month.
  3. Subtract your expenses from your income.  This should equal zero.  Your goal is to have a zero based budget.  Give every dollar a name.
  4. Track your expenses.  Write down EVERYTHING you buy/spend money on.  You can write it down on paper, or you can use an app called Every Dollar to track your expenses.


  • Keep a zero based budget.  If you go over in one category, adjust your budget to cover that expense.
  • If you are married, do your budget together.  Talk about it together.  Review the numbers together.  It’s important you both are on the same page.
  • Listen to Dave Ramsey’s radio show on I heart Radio or as a podcast.
  • Visit http://www.daveramsey.com/
  • Every Dollar app is available on IPhone and Android.  And there is an online version: https://www.everydollar.com/
  • Read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey


Envelope System for Budgeting

by Margot

  • Every payday, go to the bank and take out cold, hard cash.
  • Create 3-6 different category envelopes.  Some suggestions are: groceries, restaurants, gas, entertainment, pocket money/blow money/free money, birthdays, Christmas, if you are saving up for a purchase, etc.  Find what works for your family.
  • This is a great way to keep yourself accountable.  ONLY use the cash you have in the assigned envelope.  For example, if you go grocery shopping and you have $100 in cash in your grocery envelope, you can only spend up to $100!  Use a calculator when grocery shopping to help keep track.
  • It’s important to FEEL your money.
  • You can write out your expenses in that category on each envelope, or you can just count the money you have left in your envelope.  Whichever works best for you.

Couponing 101

by Kimberly

  • Start small.  Pick one sale and start there.  Write a list of items you use everyday so you know what coupons/sales to look for.
  • Get familiar with each store’s coupon policy.  You can find the policy on the store’s website.  Print it out and take it with you when you go shopping with coupons.  Sometimes the store’s employees need to learn the policy.
  • Most stores price match.
  • Meal plan around the coupons/sales at the grocery store.
  • Download an app to help you save.  Some suggestions are: Flipp, Ibotta, Walmart Savings Catcher, Ebates, Target Cartwheel and Kroger.
  • Link your Kroger card to the Kroger app and you can attach online coupons to your card, plus they will mail you coupons based on your recent purchases.
  • Check out these websites:
  • You can follow Hip2Save on Facebook as well.  They post online deals multiple times a day.
  • Sales run in cycles.  The more you pay attention to them, the more you can notice the patterns.
  • You can always get a rain check if the item you want to purchase is out of stock.
  • You can organize your coupons in a binder using paper protectors or baseball card inserts.  You can also organize them in envelopes.